LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky football senior Matt Smith, who has started the past two seasons at center for the Wildcats, has been named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List, which annually honors the best center in the nation, the trophy committee announced Tuesday.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Smith has been a key part of Kentucky’s offensive line the past three seasons, playing in 29 career games with 22 starts. In 2011, Smith missed the first two games of the season due to injury but bounced back strong with nine starts to end the season. Two years ago, Smith helped anchor UK’s offensive line unit that ranked in the top 25 in the nation in fewest quarterback sacks allowed. This is the second consecutive season that Smith has been on the Rimington Trophy Watch List.
Smith was one of 51 members named to the watch list Tuesday, including one of 10 candidates from the Southeastern Conference. The SEC led the way with its 10 selections, while the Big Ten had six and the Atlantic Coast Conference, Conference USA, Mountain West Conference and the Pac-12 all had five players each.
Joining Smith from the SEC are Dillion Day (Mississippi State), Reese Dismukes (Auburn), Jonotthan Harrison (Florida), TJ Johnson (South Carolina), Barrett Jones (Alabama), Patrick Lewis (Texas A&M), PJ Lonergan (LSU), Travis Swanson (Arkansas) and Evan Swindall (Ole Miss).
The Rimington Trophy committee will use the American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America All-America teams to determine the Rimington Trophy winner. The winner will be honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 12, 2013.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I-A college football. Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2 million. The 12-year old award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $100 million for cystic fibrosis research.
Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska from 1981-82, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only double winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com.